Last weekend a beautiful tall ship from the USA sailed into Dublin Harbour and gave members of the public an opportunity to come on board.
The Barque Eagle ship was originally a German owned ship which was seized by the U.S as war reparations at the end of World War Two. The ship is now used as part of the US Coast Guard training. Every cadet needs to spend a period of time on the ship to become an officer of the US Coast Guard. It is the only active commissioned sailing vessel in the American Military Service.
I spent some time talking to the cadets on the ship. They informed me there are currently over 200 people on the ship where they all sleep in bunk beds of three. Although the ship is quite large, I can imagine for that many people on board it can be quite tight for space.
The first object I noticed when I was approaching the ship is the size of the American flag on the front of the boat. It was absolutely HUGE. I was told this particular flag is 60 foot in length. One of the cadets informed me it is quite difficult to put up and take down. As the United States has a flag code whereby the flag cannot touch the ground or water, it takes a significant number of people to hoist it to the mast.
There was also a green and white flag on display which we were told was a flag to signify the captain was on board the ship.
The students on board at present are flying home after their next stop in London. The second part of the class are then joining the ship and sailing to Portugal and then onto Bermuda. If you want to check out where the boat is travelling to next, see their schedule here http://www.cga.edu/eagle.aspx?id=690
See some of the photos I took of this beautiful ship below.